nuclear-power-2186689_1920Carbon dioxide levels are 40 % higher than they were in the 19th century, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and most of the increase has taken place since 1970. During the last 40 years the global energy consumption has accelerated, and the rise in CO2 is largely due to the combustion of fossil fuels. The major energy challenge facing us all is to reduce any further increase in carbon dioxide within the atmosphere. In addition to protecting our environment, we also face challenges in order to meet the current and future demand for energy.


The role of the chemical sciences in Energy

Chemistry researchers explore new sources of energy, and aim to improve the efficiency of power generation and transmission from one place to another. Research areas include the development of bioenergy, in order to convert biological materials into fuels and other useful chemicals, development of materials to safely store nuclear waste, and the development of new materials for hydrogen fuel cells and solar cells.

At the University of Birmingham, the Birmingham Energy Institute harnesses expertise from science, engineering, business and economics, in order to change the way we deliver, consume and think about energy.

Take a look at the research by Professor Peter Slater relating to fuel cell development and the research by Dr Joe Hriljac relating to nuclear waste, in our GCSE experiments section, .